Washington, DC- Representatives Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Michael McCaul, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today issued the following statement after a briefing by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for members of the Committee on the growing humanitarian crisis and ethnic conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region.
“Today, we heard from the State Department and USAID about the scale of the devastating conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and the alarming impact on civilians. Currently, over 4.5 million people out of the 6 million people in the region are in urgent need food, medical supplies, and shelter. We are deeply concerned about reports of war crimes against civilians, forced displacements, restricted access to food and healthcare, and the role of Eritrean forces in Ethiopia. There must be an international, independent investigation of all reported atrocities, including ethnic cleansing. The United States, in coordination with partners and allies, must take action to hold perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable. We must strongly urge the Government of Ethiopia to make more progress on granting full access to humanitarian partners, independent media, diplomats, and human rights monitors to aid civilians and to assess the impact of the conflict in Tigray.“Ethiopia has long been a key partner in the Horn of Africa and has achieved significant economic and development progress. However, the ongoing conflict in Tigray threatens the credibility of upcoming elections in June and the stability of the entire region. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”